His mouth twitched, and his eyes strayed briefly toward the ceiling in thought. "If that’s how you feel about it, how about I make us even."
I was still mildly pissed. Even though I now knew he’d been playing a joke on me, I hadn’t changed my mind about leaving and calling it a night—the damage had been done. "And how do you plan on doing that?"
He took a step forward, entering my personal space. I touched my pendant instinctively. "Just so you know, this necklace is full of pepper spray. So don’t try anything funny." I intended it to be less of a threat and more of a warning against doing something else douchey.
He raised a brow. "Oh?" He reached for my star-shaped pendant and fingered it curiously, touching my fingers gently as he did so.
His hands were soft, but the pads of his fingers were rough with calluses, probably from playing guitar. Embarrassed by the thrill of pleasure I felt from his touch, I let go of the pendant. "Yeah."
Smiling, he moved his attention from my necklace to my face. He gently brushed a strand of my strawberry-blonde hair away from my cheek with his finger. I shifted on my feet but didn’t pull away; I didn’t want him to see his effect on me. "You know," he said, "with the necklace, the hair, and the attitude . . . you’re quite the package, Pepper."
A thrill shot through my core and I raised my brows. A glint from the overhead lights reflecting off something hit my eye. I looked down at his spiky belt. It was unclasped and hanging loosely around his waist; he probably put it on in a hurry after getting out of the shower. My hands clenched against the urge to run my fingers over the shiny silver studs. If I was going to be "Pepper," then "Stud" fit him well.
"So what I’m suggesting," Stud continued, "is an eye for an eye. Since I ogled you, I’ll let you ogle me."
I narrowed my brows. "That’s not an eye for an eye—I’m not having you line up next to other guys with bigger muscles and longer cocks."
His mouth curved in displeasure. "Look around. There’s no one else here, so we can’t do that. You’re just gonna have to settle for something else."
"Well I’m not settling for what you’re offering. If you’re gonna offer something, it had better be higher stakes."
"Higher stakes? Let me think about it . . ." He looked toward the ceiling, once again lost in thought.
I took the opportunity to stare at the sculpted pecs in front of me. They were at eye level, and I couldn’t avoid looking at them—even if I’d wanted to, which I didn’t. Although I was ogling him, it was hardly the same situation as the one he’d put me in. So I felt no shame.
He had sexy ni**les, and the silver rings that hung from them only added to the effect. My gaze slowly trailed down his bare torso to the chiseled contours of his abs.
They were so well-defined that I could’ve sworn they were airbrushed. I imagined that if the rock star thing didn’t work out, he could always make a living as a human cheese grater in a pizza kitchen.
I got to his navel—an innie—and from there began a trail of fine dark hairs that led down the center of his pelvis, disappearing into the top of his low-rise pants. Hard lines on the edges of his hips angled downward in the shape of a "V". It seemed like everything was pointing toward his crotch—which was impressive, from what I could tell. The tightness of his leather pants left little to the imagination. Even if he did line up next to other guys, I wasn’t sure there were any guys with bigger muscles and longer cocks.
An unwelcome desire grew in my core the longer I looked at his body. I gulped. Maybe I should forgive him. Stud’s ego was huge, but his c**k might almost be just as big . . .
As I thought about his cock, his hands drifted to his fly. He easily unclasped the top button, and yanked down the zipper.
I caught a glimpse of bare skin and my mouth dropped. He wasn’t wearing any underwear. "W—What are you doing?!"
He smiled. "Making us even. You wanted higher stakes. Here it is." He ripped back the leather flaps, exposing himself. I cupped my hand over my mouth, shocked. The treasure trail I’d followed earlier continued down his pelvis, fading into a patch of neatly-groomed pubic hair set above a massive c**k that hung halfway down his thigh.
Cheeks burning, I picked my jaw up off the floor and collected myself. "This is the opposite of making us even. You humiliated and embarrassed me with those trashy groupies. But this isn’t embarrassing you. It’s more like you flashing me!"
Stud raised his scarred brow. "Embarrassed or not, I’m naked. You weren’t. We should be more than even. In fact, I think you owe me now."
I couldn’t help a laugh from escaping. "Owe you? Owe you what? A slap in the face?"
"We can start with a kiss."
A puff of air escaped my lips. His persistence blew my mind. But a part of me found it admirable. Charming, even. And if he hadn’t acted like a douche and then made it worse with his misguided attempt to make up for it, I would’ve been all over him in a heartbeat. He shot me an arrogant grin, and I realized his stubbornness rivaled my own. Debating him would be fruitless. Still, I couldn’t leave with him having the last word—not after all of this.
Taking a deep breath, I decided to get even on my own terms.
"Okay, a kiss," I said.
Stud’s eyes widened. He looked at me doubtfully for a moment. I gave him my sweetest smile, and he seemed to buy it. "Good," he said. "Glad we could get this resolved."
I could tell he was still skeptical about my quick change of heart, so I trailed the tip of my finger down his chest seductively. The excitement I felt from touching him made me wonder if I wasn’t seducing myself at the same time. "Me too," I purred.
He grinned slyly and cupped my cheek. "You’re dangerous," he said with a low, intimate voice. Traces of a vibrating rasp hinted at his velvety vocal timbre. I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t witnessed it earlier in the night, but I knew that with his voice alone he could make a woman come.
I licked my lips to wet them. He tilted his head, his lips hovering perilously close to mine. My pulse beat erratically. "So are you," I breathed, just before our eager mouths collided.
Electric pleasure coursed through me. The kiss deepened, our tongues darting out to softly clash against one another.
His hand fisted my hair and he pulled me deeper into the kiss. I gripped his ass and squeezed firmly. With my other hand, I reached my down to touch his flushed skin. He groaned into my mouth, and my moan echoed his in response. Using feather-light touches, I stroked him until he stiffened, his full erection hot and needy against my palm. A sizzling ache heated the area between my thighs. My toes curled against the Persian carpet as I struggled to resist the urge to grind myself against him. I wanted him. Badly.